Sheep marts: Non-earmarked rams making high prices

Joe Healy

There was an excellent trade for breeding stock at Carnew Mart last week. Mart manager David Quinn said he never saw rams which were not ear-marked make as much.

Two non-pedigree Suffolk hogget rams sold for €820/hd, with another ram selling for €550. Mr Quinn said these prices were restricted to the top 10pc of the rams on offer.

While the average price for 85 rams on offer was €250-300/hd, Mr Quinn said this figure was pulled down by the poorest 15 to 20 rams sold. There was also strong demand for female breeding stock, with hogget ewes making from €125 to €182/hd. Older ewes sold from €90 to €145/hd. Factory lambs made €40-46 over the €1/kg, while quality stores sold for €35 to €43 over their weight.

In general, the sheep trade remains steady and strong across all categories. There are still lots of farmers anxious for suitable breeding hoggets and older ewes with any nice pen of good ewe lambs also commanding top prices.

Prices for factory and butcher lambs strengthened last week. Well fleshed cull ewes continues to make up to and over €100/hd

At Baltinglass Mart, the factory and butcher lambs were making from €40-67 over their weight with a top price of €120. Store lambs of 30-35kgs made €30-37 over. First, second and third crop ewes for breeding sold in a range from €100-164/hd. Cull ewes made €60-95. Breeding rams met a strong trade selling to a top of €650.

The Blackface Mountain breeding ewes at Maam Cross sold from €50-94/hd. The ewe lambs made €50-80. Mountain wether lambs ranged from €30-54, with the crossbreeds selling for €48-90 each. Cull ewes made €30-46.

A steady trade with no big changes to prices was the story from Tullow. Fat lambs sold for €42-49over the weight, with the stores at €31-43 over. In the breeding section, the ewe hoggets made €120-172. While a drop in the quality of the older breeding ewes saw prices of €90-144 being the order of the day. Culls made €36-111. Breeding rams sold from €150-570.

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There was another very large entry of sheep at Enniscorthy Mart with 2,640 on offer. Prices were improved for store lambs, breeding stock and cast ewes.

Hogget ewes made €128-164, older breeding ewes sold for €83-130. Factory and butcher lambs sold for €84-98. This was €38-48 over the €/kg. Store lambs made €34-47 over in a price range of €66-88/hd. Prices for the ewe lambs ran from €81 up to a high of €122 for stock that are strong enough to be bred this season.

Irish Independent

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